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'31 rain-related deaths feared in Gujarat since monsoon onset'

As many as 31 people are feared to have been killed in rain-related incidents in various parts of Gujarat since the beginning of the monsoon.
PTI Ahmedabad July 03, 2017 23:44 IST

As many as 31 people are feared to have been killed in rain-related incidents in various parts of Gujarat since the beginning of the monsoon, according to a senior state government official. The rains that have been lashing the state since the onset of the monsoon on June 1 have caused the water level in many dams to swell, prompting the State Emergency Response Centre (SERC) to sound a "high alert" for the areas in the vicinity of four dams and an "alert" for the areas located near four other dams in different parts of the state. 

"We have received a consolidated figure of 31 rain- related deaths so far, but have to officially confirm the same. Most of the deaths are due to drowning, lightning and other such incidents," A J Shah, Director, Relief, state government, told PTI this evening. 

He said a warning has been issued to authorities in various districts to carry out relief operations as and when needed. 

"We are conducting a survey to assess the damage caused to property. Construction of the rain-damaged roads, including four state highways as well as Panchayat roads, is on. Some houses in Morbi and Sidhpur cities are reported to have suffered damage due to heavy rains," Shah said. 

Meanwhile, the downpour triggered water-logging in several areas of Ahmedabad today, which resulted in traffic jams. 

The city received 22 mm rainfall between 7 am and 4 pm, submerging some BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System) routes, main city roads and an underpass, affecting the movement of traffic in several areas. Kalol city in Gandhinagar district and Bhavnagar city received 53 mm and 46 mm rainfall, respectively, during the day. 

According to the SERC, heavy rainfall in the state so far has caused the water level in several dams to rise to nearly 90 per cent to their capacity, following which four dams have been put on a "high alert". 

The water level in the 163 metre-high Sardar Sarovar dam in Narmada district has surged to 115.02 metres, it stated. 

"Out of the total 15,770.39 million cubic metre storage capacity of the state's 203 dams, they now have 4,986.37 million cubic metre of water due to widespread rainfall across the state," the SERC said. 

The dams for which the high alert was sounded are the Fatehgadh dam in Kutch, the Demi-3 in Morbi, the Khodapipar in Rajkot, and the Dholidhaja in Surendranagar. The SHRC stated that the areas in the vicinity of four dams in Bharuch, Jamnagar and Morbi have been put on an alert. 

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today met concerned officials at his residence to take stock of the situation. 

Since the beginning of monsoon on June 1, Valsad in south Gujarat has received the highest rainfall in the state at 649 mm, followed by Surat at 349 mm, and Rajkot at 274 mm. 

Surendranagar, Porbandar and Vadodara have received rainfall at 254 mm, 233 mm, and 226 mm, respectively, so far, according to a data available with the India Meteorological Department till this morning. 

A weather forecast said heavy to very heavy rains are expected in some parts of the state in the next two days, while light to moderate showers are likely to continue for the next five days in many parts.